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2 Russian Spies, 2 Hackers Behind Yahoo Hack: Reports

Sources say they're to be indicted Wednesday by Justice Department
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 10:44 AM CDT
Feds Indicting 2 Russian Spies, 2 Hackers in Yahoo Breach
A big move forward in Yahoo hacking case.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

The Justice Department is set to make a big announcement Wednesday about the massive 2014 Yahoo data breach, which affected 500 million users: the indictment of Dmitry Dokuchaev and his boss Igor Sushchin, both Russian spies from the Federal Security Service intelligence agency, as well as Russia-hired hackers Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov, anonymous officials tell the Washington Post. A person "briefed on the matter" tells Bloomberg that three of the suspects are thought to be in Russia, while the fourth was being sought for arrest in Canada. Charges that shed light on what an ex-FBI special agent tells the Post is the "murky world of Russian intel services" are said to include hacking, economic espionage, trade secret theft, and wire fraud. Per the Post, this would be the first time Russian government officials have had US cybercrimes charges filed against them.

What irks US officials most is that the FSB employees implicated in this case work for a division within the agency that's akin to the FBI's own cybercrime unit, which one official tells the Post is "pretty sad." If any of the suspects are indeed in Russia, there's no extradition treaty that the US can tap into to haul them to the States, but the Post notes charges such as these, plus possible sanctions, can still wield a "deterrent effect" against future criminality (and the suspects can still get busted if they visit countries that will ship them to the US). CNN reports both the DOJ and the San Francisco office of the FBI (neither of which are commenting) have Wednesday press conferences scheduled; the DOJ's presser is set for 11:30am in Washington, DC, Bloomberg notes. (Verizon got 7% knocked off the sale price of Yahoo because of the data breach.)

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